Hotel Transylvania

Add Comment on September 25, 2012 by Vadim Rizov

Anyone who watched Adam Sandler on Saturday Night Live during the '90s will know exactly how he sounds as Dracula: broadly accented, vaguely Jewish, heavy on the nasal outrage, prone to sudden shrieks. But Hotel Transylvania is aimed at children so young, they won't remember his TV days, and may manage to be as surprised by his voice as they are by this formulaic family flick, with a metaphorically defanged Dracula (who uses blood substitutes, since human blood is "too fattening") who struggles against his urge to overprotect daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) from the hostile human world. No surprises or major laughs here, but as far as Sandler family fare goes, it's inoffensive enough. Commercial prospects are uncertain for this undistinguished time-killer.

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Pitch Perfect

Add Comment on September 25, 2012 by Amy Nicholson

Is Jason Moore's college a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect just an extra-long episode of Glee? "That's high school," sniffs Christopher Mintz-Plasse. "This shit is real life." Which, actually, it is—sorta. The flick is inspired by GQ journalist Mickey Rapkin's 2009 non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory, and the result is such a wicked blast that I reckon it's mere minutes until another studio options Rapkin's equally film-friendly follow-up Theater Geek: The Real Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor. Pitch Perfect

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House at the End of the Street

Add Comment on September 21, 2012 by Pete Hammond

A by-the-numbers suspense thriller about a normal teenage girl who moves to a new neighborhood and gets increasingly involved with the creep who lives on the corner, House At The End Of The Street knows exactly how to drum up chills for its target teen girl audience. Blessed by the uber-hotness of Jennifer Lawrence, fresh off The Hunger Games phenomenon, with Max Thieriot's (My Soul To Take) nifty weirdo as a bonus, this PG-13 scare-fest is more psychological terror than blood and guts, and should satisfy—not repulse—young genre fans. Initial box office should be sweet given the Lawrence factor, at least if the teen crowd doesn't feel like they have already visited this neighborhood too many times before.

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Trouble with the Curve

Add Comment on September 16, 2012 by Pete Hammond

Clint Eastwood and a superb cast hit it out of the park in Trouble With The Curve, a great entertainment filled with heart, humor, family drama and fantastic acting. It's less a baseball flick, and more an engaging father/daughter relationship film that uses America's favorite pastime only as a bridge to get to the real heart of the matter. As an aging baseball scout battling failing vision, Eastwood must compete with computer programs and younger corporate know-it-alls, plus deal with a grown daughter (Amy Adams) who only wants his attention. This smart and extremely likeable outing has the veteran star right where he belongs and should draw his fans and beyond.

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower

1 comment on September 15, 2012 by Pete Hammond

Stephen Chbosky doesn't stumble when bringing his beloved 1999 young adult novel to the screen as both writer and director. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a sweet surprise, a funny, touching terrific and quite wonderful movie that gets it all right about the joys and heartbreaks of growing up circa 1991. Anyone who's ever had to navigate the rocky course of coming-of-age will relate to the plight of Charlie, a kid trying to deal with his freshman year. Where scores of teen-oriented movies have overplayed their hand, this beautifully written, directed and acted gem belongs with...

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Dredd 3D

Add Comment on September 15, 2012 by Kate Erbland

Combining this summer's two favorite blockbuster genres—that would be "comic book movies" and "remakes"—Pete Travis' Dredd 3D initially sounds like a bad punchline (especially since it happens to be opening in autumn), but the stylish sci-fi film makes some eye-popping and unexpected choices that add up to one heck of a fun film. Abandoning the plot of 1995's Sylvester Stallone vehicle Judge Dredd, Travis' film instead centers on the action-heavy travails of his new Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and his maybe-protégé (Olivia Thirlby) as they battle the fierce drug dealer Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) while trapped in a massive apartment building that the overlord rules with an iron fist.

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End of Watch

Add Comment on September 15, 2012 by Pete Hammond

Unforgettable pair Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña give Oscar-caliber performances as a couple of beat cops patrolling the dangerous streets of South Los Angeles in End Of Watch, easily one of the year's best films and one of the best ever in the well-worn cop genre. Although riddled with action, this film is most content when making the viewer ride shotgun in their patrol car witnessing the day to day interaction of these cops from their mellow mornings to their to EOW (end of watch). Fans of police dramas will gravitate but if queasier viewers can get behind some of the vivid violence, David Ayer's smartly written and directed film could cross over to upscale audiences looking for award-level entertainment.

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